Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Can I delete Microsoft Office updates to free up disk space?


Hi Leo. Windows XP, SP3. Can I delete Microsoft Office 2010 updates before I
install Microsoft 2010 SP1 to free up disk space? Also, can I delete the
contents of the following path also again to free up disk space on the local
drive? (See Windows software distribution download.)

In this excerpt from
Answercast #9
, I explore the possibilities of manually deleting program
update files to clear up space on a hard drive and then give another
recommendation for finding unneeded files to delete.


Deleting Office update files

The question about Office – I think that you can. I’m not 100% sure.

I believe SP1 should work being applied to a completely unpatched Microsoft Office; so that leads me to say that you should be OK uninstalling the updates for Office 2010 before you install the service pack.

Not sure how much disk space that’s really going to free up.

As far as the Windows software distribution download, again, I’m not 100% sure.

Always back up

One thing you might do instead of deleting it is back it up. Copy it somewhere else; copy it to another machine [or] burn it to DVD (I don’t know how big it is), so that you can delete it safely and still restore it should there be an issue down the road.

How to free up disk space

What I actually recommend you do (instead of either these two options) is begin by running CCleaner and cleaning out your internet temporary folders, your browser caches, and the system temporary folders. There’s a pretty good chance you’ve already got a lot of stuff that is really easy to clean, safe to clean, that could free up a bunch of space right away.

The other thing that I would do:

There’s an article on my site (called “Where’s my disk space going?“) that outlines using a tool that will analyze the disk space on your computer and show you where the most space is being taken.

I point people to that tool because, quite often, they don’t realize that, “Oh, yeah, there’s this big thing over there that I downloaded three years ago that I don’t need anymore.”

Quite literally, that’s the experience I had when I ran this a few years ago and I found that I had downloaded a movie that I had watched at some point (literally two or three years prior) that was taking a couple of GB of space on my machine.

Poof! I erased it and instantly took two GB of space back.

Keep your computer clean

  • Spend a little bit of time looking at what’s using space on your machine. It’s very possible that you can find something that’s easy to delete that would free up enough space for you.
  • Run CCleaner to see if you can’t delete some of the temporary files and other crud that’s accumulated over time.

Next – Why am I getting a message at start-up that my computer is checking the file system?

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.